Today is the 9th birthday I have celebrated with my friend, goad, wife and consort, Allie Goin. She still cares to mark hers, while I prefer to let mine pass, leaving no trace- but then I have marked many more than she has. Her enjoyment of these rituals marks me as well, one of my few capitulations to sentiment and making memories on purpose.
There is little we haven’t faced, endured, prevailed and blessed together. Every new celebration presses an unsentimental finger on the wound intrinsic to every genuine shared life – that it is all gift, that its days are sweet and numbered, that only fidelity in time makes it possible to see something grow, all the while releasing as much as we can, owning neither each other, these observances, or their small comforts.
Allie has given me many such gifts, is a ballast to the hard measure I take of our species and our lot, coming into my life several months into my recovery from cancer and the nearly equal harsh cards cancer treatment deals you. She is faithful without that quality’s frequently attendant idiocy, owns a fearless and curious spirit that sometimes lands her in hot water, and has become, in our 9 shared years, nobody’s fool.
I am fortunate to know her, and generally fail to say so enough. If you meet or have met such a partner, you know how this marks you, and what it requires of you. I wish her every good thing- a swift path to enlightenment, the name for living free in this blasted world, and thank her from the depths for our good life together. I will never know another such as she, one of the few things I am confident about.